Virtual Interview

5 ways to prepare for a video interview

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Video interviews are the norm now days in the pandemic, and we do not see them going anywhere soon. So rather than ‘fight’ against it read our ‘tips and tricks’ on how to conquer the video interview (and have a few laughs on what has happened in some of our video interviews).

1.    Prepare your background

In a video interview you have ‘invited’ these people into your space, and this space is often your home. The best bet is to have a wall with either your degree/certificate/award behind you or some books. The worst idea is to have a door or a bathroom! We have had some interesting partners dressing in the background during an interview! And try not to add those virtual backgrounds, it looks like you are hiding something, and you look a bit like a robot when the background tries to merge with you.

2.    Test your connection and check load shedding

The day before the interview, at the same time and same spot where you will have the interview, test the connection. Best way to do this is to download zoom (www.zoom.com) and start a meeting with yourself. Start and ensure you can see yourself in the video (great way to test your background). Then ask your mom, sibling or friend for a test call on the same platform the interviewer has requested (see types below) – to ensure all is working well.

For South Africans – check the Eskom load shedding schedule to ensure that if you are in load shedding it is not at the same time. If it is make a plan to go to a friends house for the interview.

Virtual platforms – Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Whats App Video, Facetime (if you have an Apple device)

3.    Interview preparation

Use video as an advantage and ensure you have your preparation written or typed in front of you. Rehearse what types of questions they may ask you (The Muse has a great portfolio: https://www.themuse.com/advice/interview-questions-and-answers). And research the company that is interviewing you AND the interviewer. Check the company out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and their company website and then look at the Interviewer on LinkedIn. Remember “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Most important have your own questions for the interviewer, some ideas:

  • After the pandemic will you continue to work from home?
  • What does an average day for this role look like?
  • Why did you start working for this company? (make the interviewer share their personal story)

4.    Clothing preparation

Yes, that saying ‘dress for success’ still stands for interviews. Dress like you would for an interview – ALL the way to your shoes. Why? We have had candidates needing to stand up during a video interview and their PJ pants and fluffy slippers had us laugh! You never know what will happen and remember the MORE successful you feel the more successful you will be in the interview.

Funny story – we have had candidates who have had to stand up as a glass of water spilt on their keyboard and as he stood up, he was in his underwear!

5.    Noise preparation

Video interviews are often done in our homes and with this we have noise problems such as animals, children, partners, and our neighbors who want to mow their lawn at the exact time of your interview. Have a BACK UP plan! If your interview is about to start and noise begins have a place where you can move to. I have had an interview in my car, in my garage before, it was the quietest and safest place from my children and animals not to come and find me.

A true story – we had a lady who had an interview whose bunny kept running past her shoulders, she did not get the job as it was so distracting for her and the interviewer.

In summary

Overall, you want to be calm, collected and prepared for the interview. Ensure you are dressed for the job, with a calm demeanor and with the ability to show your previous skills in your background! Use virtual interviews to your advantage! You do not need to find parking or get lost you just need to be prepared!

Good luck! For more interview preparation read our blog with some of these articles:

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